Hello! My name is Taylor Fugere (sounds like "future") and I will be interning in the Sacramento Office of California Common Cause. Although originally from San Diego, I currently attend University of California Berkeley as a Political Science and Social Welfare double major. During the school year, I spend most of my free time on campus sexual assault policy reform.
Before starting the internship, I honestly did not know what to expect. Until two days ago, I never stepped foot in Sacramento and I felt entirely oblivious to the ins and outs of California politics other than what I saw on the news and read on political blogs. I was jumping in with both feet into the world of California policy and lobbying.
My first two days at California Common Cause ended up being really exciting" from researching and drafting reports to anxiously waiting outside of the Senate chambers as votes were counted a midst stressed out lobbyists and hurried staffers. It was thrilling to witness the Sunshine in Campaigns Act (SB 2&3) and the CA DISCLOSE Act (SB 52) pass in the Senate and I can't wait to follow them through to the Assembly and hopefully see them be signed into law. I got to see California campaign disclosure take serious steps towards greater transparency from the trenches.
At first, I was surprised how quickly bills are debated and voted on at this stage of the session. It seemed like they spent more time calling out Ayes and Noes than debating the issue, until I learned about how oftentimes legislators know how they are going to vote before a bill reaches the floor. That step in the process is what I find most interesting" all of the phone calls and meetings that go into getting a bill passed without surprises. It also is really fascinating to track a bill seeing the changes it went through and how different people played a role in it.
I am really enjoying getting a hands-on look at how legislation is passed in at the state level, especially since it is so fast-paced. I can't wait to see what the next eight weeks bring!
Taylor will be interning in the Sacramento, California office of Common Cause where she will be working on developing public policy and conducting research on influence in politics. Contact us if you are interested in interning in our California offices.